Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 23, 2007

Accelerando by Charles Stross

On January 23, 2007 the FACT reading group discussed Accelerando by Charles Stross. Everybody in the reading group has read at least some part of Accelerando. About 2/3 of the people finished it. Others were planning to finish. Everybody has read Charles Stross before.

The common opinion is that Accelerando is too discontinuous to be called a novel. The stories that make up Accelerando revolve around the same set of characters, but there is no plot arch to unify them. Some readers didn’t like this. Others found unexpected advantages in this structure: it made the novel as a whole not predictable. A reader said “You had no idea where Stross was going

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 9, 2007

Cross Plains Universe edited by Scott A. Cupp & Joe R. Lansdale

Six people gathered at Charles and Willie’s home for this meeting. Our topic was Cross Plains Universe, an anthology of stories that honor the work of Robert E. Howard. All of the authors in the book are Texans. The book was co-published by FACT and Monkeybrain and released at the 2006 World Fantasy Convention in Austin. All of us had read Robert E. Howard before, and most had read at least some of the authors whose work appears here.

The stories in the book mostly fell into a few categories: Heroic Fantasy, Westerns, and stories featuring Robert E. Howard himself. We were surprised that there were no stories about boxers or sailors, who were featured prominently in Howard’s fiction.

Three stories by relatively little-known authors were mentioned favorably by everyone at the meeting. “A Penny a Word” by Rick Klaw and Paul O. Miles is a

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